The Bright Angel Trail – Grand Canyon USA

On 8 May 2005, I visited the infamous ‘Grand Canyon’, located in Arizona, USA.  There is a number of walks to do around the rim of the Canyon, but I really wanted to get all the way down into the canyon and get a feel for it. For this experience the best trail I could find was the ‘Bright Angel Trail’.  The only issue with this was the signs everywhere stating NOT to attempt to hike all the way down to the river and back in one day – or you may die.

I did not want to die, so I decided to run instead of hiking.  It is 1360m of vertical descent and 12.6km from the canyon rim to the river on the Bright Angel Trail.  I had camped just outside the park on the evening of the 7th.  I rose early on the morning of the 8th, packed my tent and gear quickly into the car and made some coffee and beans for breakfast to fuel up for the day ahead.  I then left at 6:30AM and ran all the way down the steep zigzag path to the Colorado river at the base of the Canyon.  I made pretty good time and arrived in about 2 hours flat.  There were a few other people wandering down also which I passed along the way.  There is a point called ‘Indian Garden’ about halfway down where you can hire mules or horses to ride on if you wish.

Once at the river I met some crazy guys with a bottle of wine and some cigarettes. It seemed like a good place to have a celebration so we all jumped in the river for a swim (man is the water cold!), then they very generously shared a glass of wine and a cigarette with me.  I mucked about down there for about one hour.  Around 9:30AM I set-off back up the trail for the 1360m grind all the way to the canyon rim again.  This was a bit slower than the way down naturally and it took me 3 hours to make it back to the top.  I arrived at 12:30PM and celebrated with a large ice cream.  It was a fantastic experience to be in the canyon and be able to pass through the different sections all the way from the rim to the river.  Attached below is some photo’s from the trek.

View from the canyon rim

View from the canyon rim

Another view from the canyon rim, you can see the Colorado River over 1300 vertical metres down at the base of the Canyon.

Another view from the canyon rim, you can see the Colorado River over 1300 vertical metres down at the base of the Canyon.

 

The way wealthy and wise people get to see the canyon!

The way wealthy and wise people get to see the canyon!

 

One of the warning signs on the Bright Angel Trail

One of the warning signs on the Bright Angel Trail

 

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Details about the Bright Angel Trail

Getting down lower in the canyon

Getting down lower in the canyon

Passing through 'Indian Garden' where you can rent mules to ride on

Passing through ‘Indian Garden’ where you can rent mules to ride on

At the bottom and the mighty Colorado River!

At the bottom and the mighty Colorado River!

Met two friendly but crazy American guys who shared their wine and cigarettes!

Met two friendly but crazy American guys who shared their wine and cigarettes!

A quick swim in the very cold Colorado River - it is also very murky carrying alot of suspended sediment (dirt)

A quick swim in the very cold Colorado River – it is also very murky carrying a lot of suspended sediment (dirt)

I saw from whit water rafting expeditions coming through while I was down there.

I saw a white water rafting expedition coming through while I was down there.

Enjoying some quiet time on the Colorado River at the base of the Grand Canyon.

Enjoying some quiet time on the Colorado River at the base of the Grand Canyon.

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